Outdoor stage at Lansdowne Park shut down Sunday because of storms
The Escapade music festival at Lansdowne Park went off relatively smoothly, despite concerns about drug use and noise in the buildup to the event.
However, severe thunder caused a bit of a scramble on Sunday when the main outdoor stage was shut down, although none of the main acts had to cancel.
Paramedics said 18 partygoers were treated during the two-night festival, and 10 of those cases were related to drugs and alcohol.
Two people overdosed on ecstasy and the sedative GHB, while another slipped and broke their leg, according to paramedics.
Michael Latimer of the Ottawa Paramedic Service told CBC News Sunday that those numbers suggest that there were fewer issues than they had anticipated.
None of the patients treated was in life-threatening condition, and responders did not have to use naloxone, a medication used to treat opiate overdose.
Concerns had been mounting because of an increase in overdoses in the city, especially with prom and festival season now underway.
For the first time in the festival's history, Ottawa police were on hand with what they call a "drug amnesty" box, where attendees could discard their drugs, no questions asked.
"It was a success, they did have some stuff that was dropped off anonymously before people entered the festival grounds," said Ali Shafaee, the festival's director of partnerships.
Organizers of the festival estimated that they spent about $200,000 on safety and security measures for the event.
Noise an issue for some
Capital Ward Coun. David Chernushenko said he personally received 10 to 12 noise complaints from residents of Old Ottawa South, but the noise stayed within what's allowed under city bylaws.
"I heard from a number of immediate neighbours who weren't happy, we've certainly had louder [events] but several found it louder than they'd play their home sound systems with the windows closed, was how they described it," he said.